McCain trails Clinton, Obama in N.J.

Both Democratic presidential candidates lead Republican John McCain in the contest for New Jersey’s fifteen electoral votes in November, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released early this morning. Clinton beats McCain 47%-41%, and Obama leads 46%-39%. Obama leads McCain among independent voters, while Clinton has a clear advantage among women.

“Sen. Obama runs as well as the Senator next door against Sen. John McCain in New Jersey in the general election. The big difference is that Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain split the independent vote almost evenly while Obama holds a nine-point edge among independents – the group that has given the Democratic candidate the edge in New Jersey in most recent statewide elections,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Either way, McCain could run a close race in New Jersey this year, but at this early point not close enough to make the Garden State a key swing state in the presidential election.”

Obama, who lost the February 5 New Jersey primary by ten percentage points, is more popular in New Jersey than Clinton. Obama has a 58%-21% favorability rating, while Clinton’s is at 50%-43%. McCain is at 52%-28%.

President Bush continues to have trouble among New Jersey voters, with an upside-down 26%-70% approval rating. By a 35%-7%, voters say Bush’s job performance will make them less likely to vote for McCain, while 55% say he will make no difference.

Asked about a preference for the Democratic vice presidential candidate between Gov. Jon Corzine and Sen. Bob Menendez, 30% of voters picked Menendez and 29% went for Corzine. Among Democrats, Corzine led 38%-31%.

McCain trails Clinton, Obama in N.J.